August 19, 2014 9:38am PT by Lesley Goldberg
FX's 'The Strain' Renewed for Second Season
FX is spreading The Strain.
The cable network has renewed Guillermo del Toro and Carlton Cuse's vampire drama The Strain for a second season, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. The series will return with 13 episodes in summer 2015.
Based on the book trilogy from Chuck Hogan and del Toro, the drama centers on a vampire virus that infects New York and the CDC doctor, Ephraim "Eph" Goodweather (House of Cards' Corey Stoll), who investigates the case. Del Toro and Hogan, who co-penned the three-book series, co-wrote the pilot, with Cuse on board as showrunner. Del Toro directed the pilot.
The series opened in July — after a wave of controversy surrounding its graphic billboards — to 3 million viewers but grew to 4.7 million with three days of time shifting. Factoring in encores, the total grew to 8 million total viewers, with 4.2 million among the advertiser-coveted adults 18-49 demographic, ranking The Strain as the best demo premiere on cable this year. FX notes that the series premiere ranks as the most-watched in FX history with 12.7 million total viewers when factoring in DVR growth, VOD and online viewing.
For his part, Cuse and del Toro are looking at the series for either a three- or five-season run, with season one covering the first book in the trilogy, with the jury still out on if the final two books should be one season each or split into multiple runs.
For FX, The Strain joins a roster of drama originals including anthology American Horror Story, The Americans, The Bridge, Fargo and Tyrant and as Sons of Anarchy and Justified are poised to end after their upcoming seasons. A decision on the future of Howard Gordon's Israel-set drama Tyrant has not yet been determined and the fates of freshman comedies Married and You're the Worst — both of which debuted this summer — have also not yet been revealed.
For Cuse, meanwhile, The Strain will keep the Lost alum with at least three shows on the air with A&E's Bates Motel and its adaptation of French zombie drama The Returned, the latter of which was picked up straight to series.The prolific producer also has an alien drama pilot in the works at USA and a Civil War drama at Amazon.
Update: This story has been updated to reflect 12.7 million total viewers includes DVR, VOD and online viewing.